It’s been a full year since the launch of the Christiana J. Paul Collection. I had the opportunity to catch up with Christina Liedtke, lead designer for the brand and hear more about everything from her inspirations to advice for new designers.
CR: You have now designed two beautiful and unique collections. Where do you find your inspiration?
CL: The most integral part of my inspiration is sourced from human emotion. Our emotions, especially as women, are triggered by daily rituals to special occasions. Whether it is getting ready for the day or sexing up for the evening, the most important aspect is ‘what article(s) of clothing or designer will you wear to feel your best and most confident’ and that is how we want our consumer to feel about Christiana J. Paul.
However, as a central aspect to human emotion, we source a lot of inspiration for the pieces and collections from nature. We respond to nature in such a personally unique and innate way. It connects us directly and sincerely to the constant change around us. The lines and shapes of nature in each season align with our juxtaposition as women with our strength, wit, sensuality, and vulnerability.
CR: How would you describe your design aesthetic?
CL: Our designs have a certain balance of curved lines and sharp asymmetrical angles. We leverage texture and prints in our fabrics to play out the emotional seasonal storyline. Our designs need to find a balance between a woman’s heart, romantic and soft and woman’s intellect, sharp and courageous.
When we design, we always keep consumer questions in mind to deliver on design aesthetic. We want to deliver on our brand equity of both timeless and evolutionary to mirror women in today’s society. The Christiana J. Paul brand is about love, the love for ourselves and the love for others in the most inspiring and confident way. For Spring 2014, our tagline is “if you were to see the love of your life, what would you wear?” For Fall 2014, leveraging the darker hues and shapes of autumn, the tagline is “if you were to see the lust of your life, what would you wear?” Both of these deliver on our confident and courageous determination to significantly dress for moments whether it is for ourselves and for others.
Fall 2014 Collection – Winston Coat
CR: How would you describe the ideal Christiana J. Paul woman? What is she like?
CL: We call the woman that wears our designs, Anna. I want to hone in on the word ‘confident’, as she is confident, but in a way that is a subtle statement. She is humbly confident in an aspirational way by just being herself and dressing for herself. She is energetic, influential, and impactful in her journey and others positively respond to her. She is a working woman that seeks excellence in her presence. We find Anna wearing our designs to day or evening events that require simple and elegant statement pieces as well as beautiful accent pieces like our coats for her daily routine.
CR: What are the hot trends for Spring 2014?
CL: The encompassing and primary trends that I have seen on the runway, in the latest books, and in our own Spring 2014 collection regard the theme of nature in a super natural sense with metallics, pastels, and abstract shapes.
There is much exploration of surrealistic, yet feminine silhouettes in women’s RTW for Spring 2014 with a celebration of feminine connections and friendships and how the power of these and nature plays into fashion and society.
These trends are easy transitions into your wardrobe without being avante garde or compromising your style. For consumers metallics can be poignant, yet subtle while pastel palletes explore the softer and simpler side of spring and summer 2014.
In our own Spring 2014 collection we have fused these trends together through hues, texture, and softer abstract shapes in three of our signature pieces.
SS14 – Bailey Dress SS14 – Todd Coat SS14 – Abbott Coat
CR: What is your advice to other aspiring designers, that would like to start their own line?
CL: Starting, developing, and getting a line off the ground is not easy and that is an understatement of what it actually takes. Whether you are new to the industry or already established through your fashion career, starting a line for long term success takes a sustainable and unique style that is consumer likeable to gain distribution and generate revenue. However that is not the only aspect to this business, having a great style makes it easier. I have highlighted three key elements that aspiring designers need to be cognizant of for success:
#1. Do your research before committing to the development of the line. Truly understand your product offering and how it will fit in the market and with consumers.
#2. Be extremely numbers focused and stay within budget. This is good advice for all entrepreneurs, but specifically in Fashion Design as this is a very costly business. Understand short term and long term capital needed to evolve your line and increase distribution.
#3. Network, network, and network. This industry is built on the network and without it your capital and investments will fall flat.
#4. Don’t give up and always be flexible. To find success in this industry you have to continue to work hard even if doors are closed and phone calls and e-mails go unanswered. You need to find creative ways to gain industry attention and be flexible in both design, style and communication.